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Monday, 12 March 2018

50 years of Costa del Sol East Chaplaincy

The thurifer prepares for the anniversary mass
The Anglican Chaplaincy of St Andrew on the Costa del Sol East has just celebrated 50 years of life and witness. From humble beginnings in 1968, meeting in people's houses, the Chaplaincy now has a full-time priest, its own building and chaplaincy centre in Fuengirola, and 3 other worship centres in Roman Catholic Churches in Benalmádena, Calahonda and Alhaurín El Grande. The Revd Alaric Lewis, the current Chaplain, is assisted by a Reader Caroline Macfarlane and a Church Army Captain, John LePage.

Whilst firmly in the Anglican tradition, the Chaplaincy, (which has as its patron St Andrew), seeks to be a spiritual home for English-speaking Christians from all backgrounds. Most of the members are British in origin and many of them retirees. Nevertheless, Fr Alaric has initiated an occasional programme for children - "The Mustard Seed Gang". In addition to daily worship and the Sunday eucharists in the various centres, other parish activities include study groups, retreats, and numerous social activities. One such activity, a special afternoon tea, was part of the golden jubilee festivities. My recent visit on 24-25 February for the 50th anniversary included the confirmation of one of the members.

Fr Alaric, unfortunately for us in the Diocese and for parishioners in the parish of Costa del Sol East, is moving on and taking up a new post in the Diocese in Norwich at the end of this month. Speaking of the anniversary, he said,  "God has truly blessed us with so much, and today’s celebration was the perfect way to give thanks. Praise God for fifty years of prayer and service in his name, and prayers for the years to come. May we all continue to grow in love for Him and for one another".

Amen to that!

Confirmand Sheila, Fr Alaric and Reader Caroline

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